For the upcoming anniversary of the September 11 event, the IAFC again offers one possible recommended protocol for fire departments wishing to mark the annual commemoration of losses suffered on that day in 2001.
In making this recommendation, the IAFC states that the ceremony is a proposed format only—it does not constitute a national day of recognition. Further, the IAFC stresses that such participation is entirely voluntary and should be considered on a community-by-community basis with the input of local law enforcement and municipal leadership.
For those departments wishing to mark the September 11 anniversary, the following ceremony is proposed. A number of related resources, including the Firefighter’s Prayer, an explanation of the significance of the 5-5-5 bell tolling and the roll-call list of FDNY members lost on 9/11 are available on IAFC’s website. Go to Administration Resources > Department Administration: Ceremonies.
MOMENT OF SILENCE WITH BELLS
Saturday, September 11, 2010
9:58 am EDT
- All available fire department personnel assemble at attention in front of the station flag pole (or a central location in front of the building)
- No recommended uniform of the day—up to department discretion
- Company officer or chaplain, if present, may choose to make brief remarks
- Badge shrouds according to local department policy
- Lowered flag according to local, state or national proclamation
- Community involvement is optional
- When assembled, maintain silence
9:59 am EDT – Time of the South Tower Collapse
- Station bell rings 5-5-5 (three sets of five chimes each) or 5-5-5-5 (four sets of five chimes each—both are common and acceptable)
Note: Some stations may not have bells and may opt for local church bells or sirens sounded for 1 minute (check with neighbors for approval)
10 am EDT – One Minute of Complete Silence
Additional actions may include, if desired:
- Read the names of each of the 343 fire fighters from FDNY (approx 10 min., see Background Materials below)
- The chief fire officer, city or county officials, local minister or other designated person might speak
- Local minister or fire department chaplain recites Invocation or Firefighter’s Prayer (see Background Materials below)
- Invite attendees to reflect on all the lives lost on September 11—law enforcement and civilian, as well as fire service
- Recognize any line-of-duty deaths the department itself has suffered in the past year
- Perform any specific regional/department/station traditions for services
If a commemorative event is performed, the IAFC recommends that it not be limited to the fire service. Rather, the remembrance of the day should include all the victims of the tragedy on 9/11: fire service, law enforcement and civilians alike, including the families of those who were lost.
The event should not focus solely on the World Trade Center, but should include a remembrance of all three attack sites: the World Trade Center in New York City; the Pentagon in Arlington, Va.; and the crash-site in Shanksville, Pa.
A number of related resources, including the Firefighter’s Prayer, an explanation of the significance of the 5-5-5 bell tolling and the roll-call list of FDNY members lost on 9/11 are available on IAFC’s website.